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Colts Weekly Recap: Week 3 Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
It’s a beautiful day! The Colts win and it’s about damn time! It wasn’t always pretty, in fact, most of the time it was pretty ugly, but a win is a win. As a fan of the Colts, this game sent me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I was happy, then extremely happy, then less happy, then sad, then frustrated and furious, then happy again, then scared, then relieved, and finally happy again.
Colts fans all around are likely still frustrated with this Colts team as we get glimpses of what they can be. There were times during this game that they looked like no one could beat them, and there were times in this game that it felt like EVERYONE could beat them. The biggest issue with this team is the same it has always been, they struggle on the offensive line. They definitely need to bring in better players for the offensive line, but that is hard to do during the season. I think that getting more reps together will certainly help a lot.
This week, I am going to take you through my personal emotional roller coaster as I recap what went on in this game.
The Colts defense came out strong, forcing two three and outs. On the offensive side of the ball, the Colts were able to get Frank Gore going early, gaining six to seven yards per carry. Then Luck gets a huge 48 yard pass to TY Hilton down to the 1 yard line. Frank Gore was then able to punch it in for a touchdown, which gave the Colts their first points in the first half this year.
The Colts were then able to stuff the Titans again forcing them to punt. After the first three and out for the Colts during this game, the Colts were back on defense.
The Colts defense continued to play strong going into the second quarter. That’s when the magic happened. Marcus Mariota, who had not thrown an interception all year was beginning to get into his groove, with quite a few completions in a row. Then he threw it to Delanie Walker on the right side of the field, and as he was catching the ball, he was then separated from the ball by the newly acquired Defensive Back, Josh Thomas, and Dwight Lowery was able to pick off the pass and return it for a touchdown! Colts now lead 14-0! What a difference one week had made.
The rest of the half unfortunately, would not be as good for the Colts. They were unable to completely shut down the Titans and allowed them to kick a field go to make the score 14-3. The Titans were able to force another three and out allowing only one yard on those three plays. They were then able to drive the ball 83 yards down the field for a touchdown just before halftime. You could feel the momentum shift from the Colts to the Titans and the way the Colts had been playing this year, did not give the Colts fans confidence going into the second half.
The second half started out dreadfully for the Colts, they were forced to punt again with another three and out netting negative one yard. The Titans then drove down the field with relative ease scoring in just six plays and taking the lead 17-14. At this point, I wasn’t feeling great, but all the Colts needed to do was drive down the field and get some points, anything would be great.
Frustrated and Furious
On the very first play of the Colts’ next possession, Perrish Cox, Titans’ cornerback, made a great break on a ball intended for TY Hilton and intercepted Luck’s pass. He was then able to return the interception all the way to the Colts’ three yard line. It took only one play for the Titans to find rookie, Dorial Green-Beckham for the touchdown pass.
The Colts then got the ball back, and they started moving the ball down the field, then another holding penalty, it’s been a common occurrence for the Colts this year, make a good play, hold. It was 4th and 10 for the Colts and Pat McAfee was out to punt, he then saw and opportunity, and he took it! He was able to rush for 18 yards to the right side of the field and pick up the first down! Then Luck hit Andre Johnson for a 37 yard reception, but wait, ANOTHER hold. It all came back and the Colts had a 1st and 20 again. Then on 2nd and 4, the Luck was flushed out of the pocket, and in an attempt to make a play, threw his second interception. Luck, however, was able to make a great play and tackle Brown for at the Colts’ 13 yard line, which proved to be HUGE later in this game.
The Titans were unable to score a touchdown despite the great field position and were forced to kick another field goal. The Titans then lead 27-14. The Titans defense then forced another three and out, and it wasn’t looking good for the Horseshoe. The Titans punted and put the Colts on their own two yard line.
- Pass to Moncrief- 7 yards
- Pass to Dorsett- 8 yards
- Pass to Hilton- 9 yards
- Pass to Gore- 8 yards
- Pass to Hilton- 21 yards
- Pass to Fleener- 13 yards
- Pass to Fleener- 9 yards
- Pass to Dorsett- 35 yards
- Total passing- 110 yards
Luck started off the drive with a quick pass to Donte Moncrief, who gained 7 yards. Then Luck was forced to run, and gained one yard, but that was negated by a hold, and the Colts were moved back to their own four yard line again. Then a short pass to Phillip Dorsett for 8 yards and a Colts first down.
Luck was then able to find Hilton for a 9 yard reception to the Colts 22 yard line. Then a dump off to Gore for 8 yards and a first down. Luck then struck on a deep pass to Hilton for 21 yards. Followed that up with a 13 yard pass to Coby Fleener, followed by another 9 yards to Fleener. Gore picked up 2 yards to gain another Colts first down and keep the drive alive.
On first down Luck threw incomplete to Dorsett, then there was another penalty on the offensive line, false start. It was 2nd and 15 and Luck was sacked for another 5 yard loss. On 3rd and 20 Luck threw a deep pass to Dorsett for a 35 yard Touchdown! Luck threw for 110 yards on that drive. Yes, you read that correctly. Because of penalties, Luck was able to throw for more yards than are on the field of play. Colts were trailing 21-27.
The Titans received the ball and on their second play from scrimmage, Mariota threw another interception to Lowery. Lowery returned the interception to the Titans’ 11 yard line to set the Colts up in great field position.
On the first play from the 11 yard line, Luck found Moncrief in the back left corner of the end zone for another touchdown pass. Vinatieri was then able to help the Colts gain the lead with the point after 28-27.
The defense then came back onto the field and held the Titans to another three and out, giving up zero yards. The Colts took over from their own 31 yard line. Luck found Jack Doyle for a 19 yard reception. Then Gore found an opening and burst out for a 25 yard run, on which there was a tripping penalty against the Titans which gave the Colts another 10 yards. A few plays later, Gore was able to get his second rushing touchdown of the game, and just like that the Colts were up 35-27.
McAfee kicked the ball through the end zone on the kickoff, forcing the Titans to start at their own 20 yard line. It seemed that all was lost for the Titans after Robert Mathis, back from injury recorded his first sack of the year on the first play of the drive. But the Titans kept going, they were able to get a first down, then another, and another. Before you knew it the Titans were on the Colts 2 yard line. They were able to then score a touchdown with 55 seconds left in the game.
Colts 35 Titans 33
This is it. The Titans needed the two point conversion to tie the game with less than a minute left. They threw up a pass, and the Colts were called for pass interference in the end zone, which put the ball on the 1 yard line. Clearly, the Titans were going to run the ball, they just needed 1 yard. The Titans tried running the ball to the left side of the line, but the Colts busted up the line, and pushed Jalston Folwer backward. He then tried running right to find some space, but couldn’t find anywhere to go. The Colts stopped him! They still led!
The Titans only hope was an onside kick. Unfortunately for them, the ball sailed out of bounds and the Colts just had to sit on the ball to win.
Watching the Colts come out in Victory formation for the first time this year was great! I sat in almost disbelief while I watched the Colts storm back from 13 points down in the fourth quarter. Even though it was a win, Colts fans everywhere are still extremely frustrated with this team. They show glimpses of what they could be, but are not consistently that.
Even with a win, the Colts still have plenty to work on.
Where can the Colts improve?
On the Offensive Line
The Colts have to figure out what’s going on with the offensive line. They have been absolutely dreadful. When they block well it’s because they are holding, and turning 30 yard plays into 10 yard losses. When they aren’t holding, Luck is on the run. They have seemed to get a little better as time has gone on, but they were playing the Titans this past week. We need more cohesiveness from this line if the Colts are going to do anything special this year.
Cut out the penalties
This was an issue last week as well, the Colts need to stop holding. They had eleven penalties on Sunday and five of them were offensive holding calls. Those are drive killers and it needs to stop. I think part of the way they can correct this is with play calling. When they were getting the ball out of Lucks hands quickly, they were moving the ball without the ability to hold, they just didn’t have time to do it. High tempo, quick plays may be the way of the Colts moving forward.
Stop giving the ball away
Luck threw two more interceptions this week, which gives him seven on the year. That is way too high. The first interception was a great play by the defensive back, but it was still a risky throw. The second interception was just a poor decision. Luck needs to know when to just throw the ball away. Sometimes, living to see another down is just the best way to go, even if that means swallowing the ball and taking the sack.
Who will win the AFC South?
The State of the Indianapolis Colts
The mood in the city of Indianapolis has definitely improved since last Monday night. The Colts have finally won and sadly enough being 1-2, puts the Colts in the lead statistically, since they have a win in the division. All four teams are 1-2, so now the only thing they need to focus on is winning the next one. They are up against the Jaguars next week, followed by the Texans, and then the big Deflate gate rematch Showdown. The Colts need to win the next two games to help gain momentum going into the game against the Patriots, but also making sure they have some cushion going into week 6.
I will have my Colts vs Jaguars weekly preview up in the next couple days, follow me on Twitter for an update when that is out.